January 29, 2023

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Manhattan native makes use of Instagram to stroll on to males’s basketball crew

Nate Awbrey used Instagram to stroll on to the Okay-State males’s basketball crew. (Courtesy photograph from Okay-State Athletics)

After receiving his diploma, former Manhattan Christian Faculty (MCC) level guard Nate Awbrey thought his faculty basketball days had been over. Awbrey joined the 1,000 level membership with 1,032 profession factors, whereas rebounding 380 boards and recording 244 assists for MCC in his four-year profession.

Whereas engaged on his grasp’s diploma in neighborhood growth, Awbrey determined to pursue Division-I basketball.

“I used to be taking a look at jobs with Younger Life,” Awbrey stated. “It’s a ministry I’ve volunteered for the final 4 years, after which sooner or later I simply felt this inclination, ‘I don’t know if I wish to be completed with basketball.’ God’s calling me to nonetheless be within the sport.”

Regardless of his achievements as a MCC guard, Awbrey had no gives to play basketball following commencement. Nonetheless, social media supplied a gateway to advancing his profession to a stage he dreamed of taking part in at as a baby.

“I knew there was new teaching workers right here and I had no connection at that time, and I actually DMed (direct messaged) [K-State Head Coach Jerome Tang],” Awbrey stated. “I used to be sort of telling him my story about my basketball background, my ministry background and requested him what a walk-on place would appear like.”

To Awbrey’s shock, Tang messaged him again with an invite to fulfill with him. Over the course of a number of months, Awbrey was accepted into graduate college and labored out with Okay-State’s new roster over the summer season.

On the time, Tang didn’t assure a roster spot for Awbrey, however he refused to let uncertainty drive him away from the game he beloved. Awbrey stated he labored laborious, and did it with a constructive perspective.

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“It was sort of a protracted course of,” Awbrey stated. “It wasn’t like ‘yeah, you’re going to be on the crew’, however you understand, simply going via it and trusting it and simply having fun with each second. That’s what I stored telling myself: whether or not this works out or not, I simply wish to take pleasure in each second of it.”

Awbrey grew up in Manhattan however stated that his mother and father raised him to be a College of Kansas (KU) fan, and he’s not the one one in his household within the trade. Awbrey’s brother Gabe accepted a place as a graduate assistant coach in Waco, Texas for the Bears.

Awbrey remembers former Okay-State groups with gamers like Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly, who’s now a graduate assistant coach. 

“It’s tremendous cool,” stated Awbrey. “They had been simply so good. I keep in mind being at Jacob Pullen’s senior evening — seeing that and the group. The environment is wonderful, so to have the chance to be right here on the crew and be capable of expertise that first-hand down there on the court docket. I used to be telling my brother that’s like everybody’s dream rising up.”